Latest comment from Ellex Klavins gives an insight on Grupeer strategy: on one hand they publish blog posts claiming to do audits and debt recovery, on other hand they are actively fighting against investors legal partner, claiming that their own assignment agreements are invalid.
Just look at all the crap Grupeer has been writing in last year. Grupeer has been positioned as the victim of Covid, banks, governments, investors, loan originators, bloggers, etc., but at the same time investors are urged to stay calm.
Mar 17, 2020:
While capital markets experience disruptions, your return remains stable with Grupeer, explains Grupeer CEO Alla Kisika.
Mar 27, 2020:
Grupeer would like to encourage the investors to be broadminded and exercise caution and patience in any attempt to speed up the retrieval of the investors’ funds. Any rushed and hasty individual actions may only hinder the execution of mutual interests of Grupeer and its investors.
Mar 31, 2020:
All payments to investors of Grupeer are currently suspended due to emergency state declared in European Union and worldwide regarding COVID-19 pandemic crises
Apr 2, 2020:
We have been receiving notices from loan originators that they have been contacted directly by a considerable number of investors urging not to repay the outstanding funds to us, but directly to them.
Apr 8, 2020:
Many of our partners are using the extraordinary circumstances in bad faith and are looking for ways to avoid fulfillment of their obligations. Our legal team is working to stop such activities.
We experience difficulties with our payment systems, a part of our bank accounts were recently blocked and we are working on that too.
Apr 13, 2020:
GRUPEER hereby informs you that considering the currently existing worldwide pandemic and the governmental measures preventing immediate actions towards enforced debt collection of the borrowers debts, the lenders you have concluded assignment agreements with, have exercised the before-mentioned rights and has extended the loan repayment periods for 60 (sixty) calendar days.
Apr 30, 2020:
Grupeer predicts stabilization within two years. Grupeer investors have unavoidably been exposed to late loan repayments, nevertheless that they still can expect to profit from their investments. Grupeer has received credible threats from investors and bloggers, including insults and threats of physical violence, forcing the platform to notify the police.
May 20, 2020:
In June we will announce an action plan for repayment of investments
July 20, 2020:
We will start legal actions against Primo Invest, Finsputnik/Lime Loans South Africa, and Right Choice Finance to collect the debt.
Aug 31, 2020:
We have created a solution to fulfil liabilities towards the investors who have submitted and verified their questionnaires. Grupeer will ensure repayments in collaboration with our debt collection partner Recollecta
Sep 7, 2020:
Stopping economic activity of SIA “Grupeer” does not affect factual or legal capability to continue to work to collect outstanding balances from loan originators and to ensure repayments.
It has come to our knowledge that attorneys-at-law office “Ellex Kļaviņš” has provided misleading counsel to the investors regarding the matter of what means “stopping of the company’s economic activity”.
We have addressed “Ellex Kļaviņš”, requesting to recall or to provide a correct interpretation of the information to the investors. We have warned the attorneys-at-law office that failure to do so might result in legal actions towards them.
Sep 17, 2020:
We are removing the post from September, 14 regarding the licensing process on advice of our legal counsel.
Oct 7, 2020:
As soon as the loan originator transfers Recollecta the amount due, within 5 banking days Recollecta ensures payment to the investors according to the payment schedule.
Nov 5, 2020:
We can now confirm that in cooperation with our debt collection partners we have started legal actions against several Loan Originators. Meanwhile, Latvian law firm “Ellex Klavins” has notified us that they on behalf of certain investors will seek a declaration of insolvency against us.
Feb 19, 2021:
We had plans to aggressively pursue claims against the Loan Originators in default. We had to put our plans on hold because of the insolvency applications made by several investors. We approached the investors’ Latvian lawyers with an offer to go against the Loan Originators together.
Although we are still in the process of negotiating a formal ceasefire with the investors’ Latvian lawyers (Ellex), the talks we have had so far have given us confidence that a solution acceptable to all parties is possible. We are indeed grateful to the investors and their Latvian lawyers for agreeing to start a dialogue and we intend to make the most out of this unique opportunity.
What is Grupeer doing in reality?
My impression from Grupeer blog posts was that they are trying to confuse investors, continue promising good results, blaiming others for failures and at the same time – probably moving away assets.
And looks like Ellex Klavins has similar impression, so they even issued a statement:
Following the latest blog post of Grupeer, a statement was prepared by our legal partner Ellex Klavins:
In light of the blog post that was published on February 19, 2021 on the Grupeer platform, we would like to address the statements made and to clarify the actual facts of the current status of the case and the negotiations.
The commercial activity of the Grupeer platform has been terminated for almost one year. The sole real actions from the side of the Grupeer team have taken the form of vague informative status updates of the alleged steps taken.
Due to the evident financial and legal problems of all of the involved companies affiliated with Grupeer, their chosen strategy has been to publish teasing information regarding progress from time to time in order to create a perception that the situation is being addressed seriously and that there are plans to comply with all obligations and repay the funds owed to investors. However, it is unfortunately clear that for now there have been no real actions on the part of Grupeer to actually respect their payment obligations towards investors in the full amounts.
We are open to discuss any real cooperation, including any settlements, only when the Grupeer team will be willing to cooperate in a fair and transparent manner by being ready to respect our pre-conditions necessary to kick–off any further negotiations.
Under the instructions of the core group of investors we have had one meeting on 27 January 2021 with the representatives of Grupeer group from the Law firm Repšs & Kvēps to discuss the possibility of future negotiations, and that followed by a short e-mail exchange. We have made it clear that a prerequisite for any negotiations is for Grupeer group to fully disclose objective information in respect of the financial situation of Grupeer and its group companies for the investors to be able to assess any future actions and to give all sides a platform from where to start the negotiations. We have also stated the necessity for an objective and impartial external financial audit of the companies affiliated with Grupeer platform including SIA Primo invest and SIA Finsputnik platforma.
We are convinced that such a transparent approach is paramount to re-establish any level of trust on the part of the investors towards Grupeer.
Following our request made on 8 February 2021, unfortunately so far the Grupeer team has not provided us with the required information in order to further proceed with the negotiations.
We emphasize that any discussions we have had so far with the representatives of the Grupeer team are in a very early stage and we in no manner can conclude that there is any evidence of the trustworthy intent of the opposing side. This is especially true taking into consideration all of the evasive actions that we have witnessed being performed in order for Grupeer to avoid compliance with obligations towards investors. The actual legal steps taken against our efforts strongly suggest different intentions.
Grupeer group companies have challenged the validity of the assignment agreements
As the legal representatives of the largest investor initiative we are seeking to exhaust every means to exercise the rights that the investors hold and to achieve progress in a re-payment process of all funds owed by the Grupeer group.
When specific investors used their rights to start insolvency proceedings against SIA Primo invest and SIA Finsputnik platforma, Grupeer group companies which had failed to comply with their obligations for almost a year, took diversionary action. These companies initiated civil proceedings in court against the investors in question seeking the court to recognize the assignment agreements by which the investors bought part of the claim against the debtors as null and void. The validity of the buy-back mechanism agreed in the assignment agreements was also challenged claiming that the mechanism causes excessive losses for SIA Primo invest and SIA Finsputnik platforma and that they therefore must be declared invalid.
Throughout these legal proceedings in court the representatives of SIA Primo invest and SIA Finsputnik platforma have expressly stated that all concluded assignment agreements on Grupeer platform should be recognized as null and void and the respective Loan Originators have never engaged in legal obligations in any form with the investors of the Grupeer platform. Also, the representatives of Grupeer SIA who have been summoned as co-respondents to the investors have argued that they do not have at their disposal information that would confirm the existence of such agreements.
Such highly alarming statements from the Grupeer group companies continue to support the suspicion that the Grupeer group is not planning to return the funds to investors voluntarily. Therefore, given the stated legal position of the Grupeer group companies about their obligation toward investors, we do not see how we can proceed with the negotiation discussions before: 1) Grupeer and its group companies recognize their obligations; as well as 2) an objective and detailed information is provided about the financial situation of the Grupeer platform and its affiliated companies.
In summary, we would urge any investor to critically assess the information posted on the Grupeer blog. Our current priority is to act in the best interests of the investors and we are working towards finding a safe solution that would be aimed at recovering the funds invested in the Grupeer platform. We are not adverse to negotiations with Grupeer and its representatives to find a viable solution to this matter, however we insist that such negotiations are based on principles of openness, transparency, and good faith.
Ellex Klavins Team
Author: Kristaps Mors, kristapsmors.com